Lake temperatures are in the mid 70’s and Lake Lanier has come up over three and a half feet with the recent heavy rains. The level is right around 1,068 feet, which is only three-feet below a full pool of 1,071 feet.
Lake Lanier is stained in the creeks and rivers (with some muddy spots from recent rains) and the main lake is slightly stained to mostly clear.
The Chattahoochee River is stained to clear.
Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Autumn has arrived and bass fishing is very good.
Spotted bass are out schooling on the main lake and in the creeks and now is a great time to try and catch one of Lake Lanier’s trophy spotted bass.
We have witnessed large schools of bass working bait on the surface all over the lake. Topwater plugs and swim baits are fooling these offshore fish into biting and most of them are good ones.
A four-pound spotted bass is considered a trophy most anywhere in the country but right now we have been catching several that size and larger.
Use larger topwater plugs like a SPRO Dawg 125, Red Fin or a Super Spook around offshore humps and over main lake brush piles.
The fish are moving around quickly which usually indicates that they are feeding on blueback herring, but there are also plenty of threadfin shad available. Most of the fish are fat and healthy.
Random casting will coax some good strikes but if the spotted bass are really feeding then you can wait until they surface and cast towards the activity. If you can cast a lure close to them when they are feeding they will bite.
Other lures like the BBZ1 Swim baits, Basstrix Tubes, Fish Head Spins and even Rooster Tails will all work well for the schooling fish.
There have been some good reports about people catching spotted and large mouth bass on the docks.
Skip small jigs, jig head worms or soft plastic jerk baits around the docks in the mouths of the coves.
Night fishing for bass will start to get better as fall progresses. Get out after dark and cast dark-colored crank and spinner baits around rocky banks in the mouths of the creeks.
Striper fishing remains consistent and these fish are feeding heavily on blueback herring. There have been a few schools appearing on top so keep a Red Fin or SPRO Buck Tail tied on in case they show themselves on the surface.
For the rest of the time continue to use downlined blueback and trout from 20-to 50-feet down depending on where your Humminbird electronics show the location of the schools.
Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center for the freshest bait and low prices like Herring at $6.99 a dozen and trout for $1.25 each.
The downrigger and lead core trolling bite continues to be very good in the right locations. Continue to troll large SPRO Buck Tail Jigs tipped with live blueback herring. The ideal running depth is around 20-to 25-feet deep.
The night Bomber Bite should start to get going soon.
Crappie fishing has been good but, depending on where you fish, they may have been affected by muddy water.
Fish the docks and coves that have brush sunken at around 15-feet deep.
Cast jigs and Micro Spoons around these areas. Down-lined crappie minnows and even trolling should also start to work well.
Don’t forget to attend the Department Of Natural Resources event Saturday.
Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee River should be good because they will be stocking some newly released trout and these fish can be easy to catch.
The DNR welcomes everyone to check out the Free Kids Fishing Day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the lower pool just below Buford Dam off Buford Dam Road.
This will be a fun event for all kids 16 and under and there will be helpers on hand to assist parents and children.
If you have them, bring your own rods or they will have a few loaners on hand.
They will also supply bait, drinks and food.
An adult must accompany kids and life jackets are recommended.
Crappie fishing from the banks should be a good way to spend an afternoon this week. Use a slip bobber and set your depth to around 10 feet.
Rig your line with a live crappie minnow below a small weight.
Target docks, bridges and steeper banks that have trees lying down for your best results.
Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to e-mail him please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to take a kid fishing!